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God’s Role for Hardship

Back in the days when the rod of correction was a useful parenting tool and not child abuse, I remember what my parents said a few times.  I don’t remember the exact words but it was something like, “this is going to hurt me more than you” just before the spanking began.  In the years that followed, I was a quick learner, only needing a couple of paddles to straight me out.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it, Hebrews 12:11.

As an adult, things aren’t as clear for me and it was for my parents.  More analytical now, I wonder how God uses events like hardships as a form of discipline.  Are there certain things we deserve for past transgressions?  Is the current storm one faces some sort of a generational curse brought upon by ancestors?  Until a friend brought these theological terms to my attention nearly a decade ago, I didn’t have a clear understanding of hardship.

You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, Exodus 20:5.

Sometimes I feel like life is some sort of spiritual boot camp.  Pushed to the brink at times, just when I am about to quit, Jesus gives me the strength to carry on.  However, there are still plenty of unanswered questions, things that I may need to wait until heaven to comprehend.  Yet, for now, I know there is a reason for the trials I endure.  I just hope that I learn quickly like my days as a child so I don’t have to spend more time suffering.  Through the ups and downs in life, may the Lord give you wisdom to persevere and overcome.

by Jay Mankus

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